Tech Upgrades Streamline Operations, Increase Productivity

by JCPConnect-

By Gila Golder

Fulfilling Jewish Community Partners’ mission to keep our Jewish community cared for, connected, and engaged just got a whole lot easier.

Thanks to a generous grant from a donor who holds a fund with the Jewish Foundation of Memphis, Jewish Community Partners has acquired several new technology upgrades that have already made drastic improvements in efficiency, announced Laura Linder, JCP’s President and CEO. Jewish Community Partners operates both Memphis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Foundation of Memphis.

Following a year-long process, JCP transitioned from an older database platform to Blackbaud, a constituent relationship management (CRM) platform for managing data. With strong integrated Web and direct marketing components, the new CRM was specifically built for Federations and was in use by several others before JCP began the transition process. 

In just a few months since the platform’s “go-live” date, JCP has already seen improved outcomes and functionality— and has had the support of Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) to help navigate the transition and provide a roadmap for data migration. Improved reporting and analytics, as well as greater integration of donor communications into the CRM, have also enabled JCP to standardize processes and improve donor relationships.

“Onboarding our new CRM was a huge undertaking for everyone at MJF and adds so much value for our donors,” said Abbey Cowens, JCP Fundraising and Data Analyst. “Now, we have this cutting-edge tool that will help donors be the philanthropists they strive to be in a way that’s adaptable and efficient. It lets us work with people over their lifetimes to maximize the impact they can make with their giving.”

Hillels of Memphis, a program of Memphis Jewish Federation, has also acquired new database software— Little Green Light (LGL), used by Hillel chapters throughout the country to ensure accurate tracking of event attendance and student interactions. Since adopting LGL in 2018, Hillels of Memphis has greatly improved its ability to measure the impact of its programs and to keep up-to-date records of current students and alumni across its campuses.

Granting, an integral part of operations for both Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis, has also received a much-needed boost in efficiency. JCP has created a new website through Survey Monkey Apply– https://jcpmemphis.smapply.org/— to streamline the process for grant applications, application review, grant approvals, and follow-up. The application process for Memphis Jewish Federation’s Fedovation Innovation Grants for 2019-2020 is already live on the site; others, including MJF’s Community Grants, MJF’s Lemsky Endowment Fund Grants for programs that build bridges between Memphis and Israel, and JFOM’s teen-managed B’nai Tzedek grants, are in the pipeline.

“I’m thrilled that we will now be able to offer an upgraded and much improved user experience for all our grant applicants,” said Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein, JCP Chief Strategy Officer.

Jewish Foundation of Memphis uses a software called FIMS, a fully integrated foundation management system, to manage its funding and giving processes. Recently, FIMS was acquired by Blackbaud, which also owns Donor Central (the online portal for Donor Advised Fund holders) and Memphis Jewish Federation’s new CRM. At Blackbaud’s request, JFOM has migrated FIMS data from in-house servers to Host.Net, a cloud provider. Host.Net operates multiple data centers and will take care of server maintenance, upgrades, and backups, ensuring optimal performance.

Finally, in addition to these crucial software upgrades, JCP has upgraded its in-house hardware to better serve operational needs such as meetings and presentations. JCP’s newly redesigned conference room, with a built-in 65-inch flat screen monitor, is a helpful resource for professional staff and lay leaders and will save significant time in setting up videos, PowerPoint presentations, conference calls, and other needs.

“These technology upgrades have already made a noticeable impact,” noted Laura. “They enhance not only our internal processes, but also how donors, beneficiary organizations, and volunteers interact with us.”

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